￼Today the Venice Paparazzi spotlight shines on poet, writer and performer James Berkowitz!
How many years in Venice?
Tell us about your art/medium:
Poet, Writer, Performer. I read and perform my work in a set as a band, musician, or concert takes place segueing in DJ fashion one poem into the next based on cadence, theme, and audience of a particular event or venue.
How many years, and how did you get into it?
Now looking at the five decade mark since starting the process during youth. I discovered my visual gift of being able to see images and objects in pictures of my mind as a boy whether looking at clouds or lines and shapes on a wall. This in conjunction with exploring sound and music, reading books as well as storybooks with pictures, watching tv shows/movies and spending many hours at the library listening to phonograph records and reading lyrics in songbooks captured my attention. I began experimenting and writing poems to popular songs then pushing myself to write my own song lyrics then kept writing on and off into adulthood until I discovered my inner voice and how to channel the muse when it comes on at any given moment.
What projects are you currently working on?
A compilation book of new and selected poems and writings while continuing to pursue publishing interests in literary journals, anthologies, and applicable media outlets.
What accomplishments or projects that you are most proud of?
“Circle of Love,” the first poem I ever read in public as a eulogy to my mother later the title of my first short film.
“Don’t Be Shy,” first poem turned into a song written by my best friend for his band I was promoting. Creating two self-published chapbooks “Canteen Trumpets at Noon” and “The Angels are Watching.” Producing “ARTravenous” as a rooftop hotel art event at the Venice boardwalk was a dream come true!
- Beautiful Hollywood: Podcast hosted by Melanie Camp
- National Poetry Month April 2019
- Venice Art Crawl Mixer Fundraiser at Beyond Baroque April 18, 2019.
Where do you find inspiration from?
The pulse and stimulation of city streets and the magnificence of nature in its many settings.
What brings you to the arts and how has it helped your life?
To be amongst creators and creative expression that reveals truth, uplifts the spirit, and celebrates the journey and reflection of our existence in the human form. The arts have helped me heal the trials, tribulations, and tragedies encountered during my life.
Finish off the statement “Art is…
Art is sustenance for the soul.
What advice would you give someone starting out in your field?
Learn to trust your intuition and follow your inner voice.
Favorite affirmation, mantra, or quote:
Om Mani Padme Hum
What’s one thing we can do to make the world a better place?
To embrace unconditional love amongst all sentient beings.
List 1-2 things on your bucket list:
To experience more global travel and cultures.
An eclectic home for creative expression and being who you want to be.
What Venice places would you take a visiting artist friend?
The canals, the pier, and the monarch butterfly grove.
What is your craziest or fondest Venice experience?
Night walks in Venice filled with abundant energy and surprise.
Among the many artists who’ve created here in Venice, who are your favorites?
The Doors, Henry Rollins, Philomene Long, David St. John, Guy Webster, William Anthony Dambrova, Sunny Bak, Louisa McHugh, DCastro Arts, Sandra Zebi, and Frank Strasser.
Anything else you want to share about yourself to the world? Fun facts or accomplishments.
Hearing “Light My Fire” for the first time on the AM Radio of a 1966 Corvair.
Who should Venice Paparazzi cast the spotlight on next?